Hotel Roochelle hotel suite, oil on card, 10.5 x 14 cm
Curitiba nocturne, oil on card, 14.2 x 10.5cm
Rooftops, Curitiba, oil on card, 9.6 x 8.1cm
Four new pictures from last weekend trip to Curitiba, where they are haveing an art Bienal: some very good shows. The art infrastructure there is good.
The city itself has fewer and fewer charms for me with each visit: the massive dominance of anonymous corporate hotels and conference centres, which contrast strangely and bleakly with innumerable seedy lanchonetes (diners) whose food is so bad that Macdonalds seems good in comparasion. And then there are the malls, those monstrous and charmless shopping malls...
Church near the junction for Rio Negrinho, oil on card, 12 x14.5 cm SOLD
I feel that my trip was a sucess, I painted six pictures, five of which are presentable, not a bad catch.
Itaiópolis itself is quite interesting, a city in two distinct parts, the old town with some good architecture from the turn of the century and the Polish church (the interior most beautifully painted), and the newer part which is less interesting but where most of the services are.
Driving around is very nice: I was delighted with the quality of the roads, and how pleasant the views are: the landscape undulates very beautifully between the sea and Itaiópolis, the little houses sitting so very gracefully among trees and hills.
A view north from Itaiópolis, oil on card, 12 x 9.8 cm
Shanty town near Rio Negrinho, oil on card, 9.8 x 13.9 cm
A section of BR101, oil on card, 8.6 x 12 cm
There is a certain sky effect which I have started using and which I must be careful not to let become a cliche.
The first painting painted from my new car: this vehicle will radically change my life for the better, allowing me to paint when it is raining and more safely at night, as well as letting me explore Brazil much more easily.
Rio: Ibis Hotel room nocturne, oil on card, 12.3 x 9cm
The view from the hotel is of some administrative buildings.
To paint these things you nee to find a way of getting light on your support without losing your ability to see the thing in front of you. But this is surprisingly difficult, because when you illuminate the support, your motif will often fade out. I think I shall try to get one of those little reading lights that they advertise in magazines, usually with images of elderly couples in a double bed, one asleep, the other deep in George Eliot. That might be ideal: they have a little clip so you can attach them onto your book, or in my case, picture.
Photographing these nocturnes is very hard, there are almost always reflections in one place or other.
I wanted to capture the footballers playing on the sands, but by the time I had chosen my viewpoint and laid out my things they had finished their game, and after a big argument, departed. Actually ,I very rarely see arguments in public here: I seem to remember them being much commoner in the UK, and British life, despite it's reputation for calm, being far more fractious.
My trip to Rio was a qualified success. I went to paint and see if I could find a gallery there to represent me.
The painting side went very well: after the first day, the weather was great, no-one mugged me, the natives were friendly and I came away with maybe five decent paintings: not a bad haul.
It's a great painting city: insane mountains, sea, sunshine and very open people in a relatively small space. The people are friendly but not overbearing as they can be in the middle east. The only trouble is crime, and during the day, in the wrong place there's a fair chance you'll be annoyed by some kids trying to beg coins off you.
I spent Monday visiting little galleries in Copacabana and Ipanema. I visited about ten. There was some interest, but little real hunger. One of the gallery owners who liked the work remarked that it would be hard to display small paintings but it is clearly possible to use cabinets and group them to make them more prominent. I am confident that they will take off in the next two years.
I suspect there simply isn't a good art market in Rio. So I shall do what many have advised and make my way to Sao Paolo, and see if I have more luck there. The little pictures sell well when they are given the chance as gallery sales in Scotland and online show.